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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

House passes Hurricane Sandy relief bill

Last night, the House passed a $50.7 billion disaster relief package for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as the states continue to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The bill, H.R. 152, passed in a 241-180 vote after lawmakers defeated a proposed amendment that would have tied some of the disaster relief funds to spending cuts in other government programs.

In a joint statement, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie expressed their gratitude for the vote.

"We anticipate smooth passage when this package moves back to the Senate for final approval and for this long-awaited relief to finally make its way to our residents," the governors stated.

Earlier in the day, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) issued a statement calling on Congress to "act now" on emergency funding for the public transit systems impacted by Hurricane Sandy, which struck the Northeast coast on Oct. 31.

The House bill would include some funds to help New York and New Jersey transit agencies continue to recover from the storm. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority alone estimated its damage at $5 billion.

The $50.7 billion package would be in addition to nearly $10 billion in aid passed by Congress earlier this month.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/16/2013